I don’t remember any early childhood memories of celebrating Independence Day.My great aunt, who raised me from birth until I was 6, was a devout Christian and di not believe in celbrationg any National holidays. After she died and I live with my aunt, we didn’t have alot of money to celebrate holidays, so they went uncelebrated.
After Amani was born and my mom and I had reconciled (future post), my brother announced that he was going to enlist into the army. He was set to leave for basic training on July 9th. I was heartbroken because I had never been away from my brother and I had just moved back in with him and my mom and now he was leaving. So I was determined that my family would have one last hoorah before he left. We were livig in Coney Island, Brooklyn sothe obvious thing to do was to hit the amusement park/beach.
I was bummed the morning of the 4th because there was a rainstorm due to the ridiculous heat. I had bought Amani a bathing suit and a beach towel and apparently I wasn’t gonna get to use it. I packed the bathing suit and towel anyway. It was me, Mommy A, Mommy N, X, Amani, my favorite Uncle Ty, my aunt Jeanette, and my brother’s father(briefly because him and Mommy A got into an argument, and he went back home.)
Amani rode the carousel for the first time with me and Mommy N. I remember the confused look on her face as the carousel made its way around and around. She was barely 7 months old but I was so proud that she didn’t scream her head off like some of the other kids. I couldn’t get her to smile in any of the pics but that was fine.
Mommy N and I convinced Mommy A to get on this ride called the Break Dance. It tossed you this way and that way and spun around in circles while hip hop music played in the background and the DJ made fun of the scared people.I loved it and so did my brothr but Mommy A was not feeling it…at least not a t first. Eventually she warmed up to it and rode it again and again.
L, my brother who was enlisting, played arcade games with my uncle. He loved the basketball game even though he knew it cheated him. I loved playing skeeball and my uncle played some motorcycle game. My aunt Jeanette loved this ride called the Himalaya. She rode it with whoever was willing to ride it with her. That was all it took to make her happy. After we had all riddden and eaten, we sat down on a bench to take a breather and I decided that was a perfect photo op. So i just snapped away. I look at that pic often because it reminds of one perfect moment in time. Before my aunt Jeanette had her stroke and went to a nursing home, before my brother went to the Army,moved to Iowa, and then became a father of two children. It was before things got so hard and our family started drifiting apart.It reminds me of that song by Al Green “For The Good Times”. Happy 4th of July!